PhD candidate, alumna earns prestigious fellowship
An initiative of the National Institute of Mental Health and hosted by Brown University and Miriam Hospital, the highly competitive fellowship program focuses on clinical research in the fields of HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, mental illness, correctional health, global health, and health disparities. The fellowship, geared towards developing research skills, complements Dr. Wilson's doctoral studies by providing didactic training in clinical research methods, as well as collaborative structured mentoring with UAB School of Nursing professor Mirjam-Colette Kempf, PhD, MPH.
Dr. Wilson's R25 project is developing a career development proposal on opioid use for chronic pain management and their effects on the gut and pro-inflammatory cytokines in HIV disease. This research builds on her PhD research practicum and dissertation projects. Chronic use of opioids is associated with decreased tolerance to pain, dependence, and addiction. There is also evidence that suggest that opioids promote the induction of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Dr. Wilson plans include looking at the impact of inflammation on HIV disease outcomes and is using her career development award to become an independent nursing biosciences investigator.
This federally funded research grant provides support for its recipients over two years, and includes a scholarship for two summer research courses at Brown University where Dr. Wilson is spending the summer. Upon completing these courses and returning to UAB, Dr. Wilson will receive scholarship support for travel to scientific meetings, additional research training in collaboration with UAB, and potential pilot project funding. In addition, she is graduating from the Veterans' Affairs National Quality Scholars Fellowship and transitioning into this fellowship that will use the skills of quality improvement to incorporate research into patient-focused, quality care.
Dr. Wilson said she is "excited to receive additional training in clinical translational science and public health services research. The mentors and faculty at Brown are amazingly supportive and brilliant in their feedback and instruction. They have me very excited about developing a career as an investigator of a disease that affects so many people around the world."